By James Blears
“There are no small fights at this level or small fighters! I’m preparing for the most dangerous fight of my career,” declares Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (40-0-1, 29KOs), the WBC’s junior middleweight champion, who on September 15th will defend his title against Josesito Lopez (30-4, 18KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
At 22-years-old and still filling out, Canelo is broad, powerful and bursting with power. By contrast - Lopez is more slender, if not willowy, noticeably taller, but contends that even though he might look skinny - his punches carry considerable power.
Planning to come in around the welterweight limit and use his speed, Josesito is also prepared to dig deep in the trenches and take on Canelo, mano a mano. He explained: “The plan is to attack Canelo as he’s never been attacked before. He hasn’t yet faced the fighter who’s willing to sacrifice and give up a punch or two to land his own. That’s me! That is the fighter that I am! At this level every fight is hard, and every punch hurts.
“I love to go to the body as well, so I’m sure we’re going to exchange body shots. He’s going to be in front of me most of the time. Canelo is a very good fighter, and a better fighter than Victor Ortiz. I’m sure this fight is going to boil down to ring smarts.”
Sporting the start of a ginger beard, the young man they call Cinnamon, showed his upcoming opponent courtesy and respect. He said: “Josesito throws fast combinations and he’s an intelligent fighter.
“I’m always respectful of an opponent, but when the hour of action arrives, things are what they are. Josesito is a fighter with a very big heart and a lot of hunger and that’s why he’s so dangerous. That is why I’m going to prepare for the most dangerous fight of my career up to now and be completely ready. I’ll be prepared for anything and everything.”
A large turnout enjoyed a larger spread at the Modelo Brewery, near to the heartland of Mexico City. Organizers of the simultaneous September 15th bust up in Las Vegas are pledging it’ll be a vintage hum dinger, to toast.